20th Anniversary of Rockin' G horse show well attended
June 26, 2020
Saturday was the 20th anniversary for Guide Rock's Rockin' G annual open horse show with 98 participants. Judging was Lydia Smith Jundra of Clarkson. Age groups were 11 and under, 12 to 14, 15 to 18 and 19 and over with nine classes. Competitors were from Kansas and Nebraska. Some of the towns included Courtland, Minden, Juniata, Kearney, Lincoln and Grand Island.
High Point winners were awarded in each class: 11 and under class, Alyssa Johnson; 12 to 14, Sydney Bartels; 15 to 18, Sadie Remple; and 19 and over, Lucy Geweke. The committee also gave useful prizes to horse owners.
Guide Rock's horse arena was started 20 years ago by a group of parents who had children practicing horsemanship in a makeshift arena east of the town. A group of local men who enjoyed roping thought an arena would be a nice attraction for the community. At that time the Guide Rock school was about to close. The land north of the school was suggested as a possible site for an arena.
The group had fundraisers and received some large donations to get started. Ronda Petsch, one of the organizers this year, said, "Volunteers traveled to get the panels for the arena and put them up. It wasn't long before a round pen was needed. After 10 years the crow's nest and office were added. Bruce Ohmstede donated his time and skills to build it."
Many hours of tilling and loads of sand were needed to get the arena dirt just right. The trees were donated and planted by the Warrior 4-Hers. They also painted the arena under the supervision of Roy and Rosemary Anderson. The bleachers on the west side of the arena came from the Guide Rock ballfield and the bleachers on the east were donated by the Mongomery family in memory of their dad and husband, "Slim."
The Rockin' G horse show began with Larry Guy, who worked many years lining up the event. Pat Hunter, Lauri Ely and Rosemary Anderson were strong supporters by helping out. Long time volunteers for the horse show are Sherry Duffy and Sheila Hunter. Organizing the horse show has since been passed off to a new generation of parents and supporters with a few of the originals still helping. The committee includes five members and 12 volunteers for the event.
The biggest change for the Rockin' G horse show has been technology and social media. This year's horse show went live on Facebook to show the condition of the arena and show participants where to park their horse trailers. In the office, registrations and points were calculated on a computer compared to the past when it was all done by hand.Obstacles for the horse show over the 20 years have been the weather. "Rain can cause postponements but usually weather for the event is hot," said Petsch. Last year muddy area conditions caused the show to be postponed until August. This year the weather was cool and cloudy in the morning with a humid sunny afternoon. The arena was in good shape.
Proceeds from the horse show are used to maintain the Guide Rock arena. The committee sees that the grounds around the arena are mowed. The committee hires someone to do the mowing.
This year's horse show was record setting for the Rockin' G Arena. In the past entries were 70 to 80.